Apples are the kind of fruits that are much beloved by both adults and children. You can find them anywhere in the world, from rich, full orchards to farmer’s markets and hypermarkets. At over 7,000 varieties, they come in a wide array of shapes, sizes and textures. You can have them be pleasantly sweet or challenging-ly pungent, you can fit them in the palm of a child’s hand or you can use both hands to hold them while you sink your teeth in.
Regardless of the apple variety you choose, it’s important to remember all types of apples hold the same basic characteristics. Let’s take a closer look at how apples came to be such important and accessible fruits in our lives, as well as at how they can improve our mental and physical well-being.
Apples – An Overview
Apple trees are some of the most cultivated tree fruits around the world. It seems that apples may have originated in the mountains of Kazakhstan, some several thousands of years back.
Apple trees are also easy to cultivate in your backyard. It’s the type of tree that you plant this year and that yields fruit the next one. The trees will grow at least 10-15 feet in height, in the dwarf variety at least, and need to be planted at a distance of at least 8 feet between one another. The crabapple tree makes for a great pollinator with most apple tree varieties.
Depending on the variety, apples can grow as small as a cherry tomato or as large as a grapefruit. Their coloring can be green, yellow, pink stripped or full-blown red. They can be mouth-watering sour or deliciously sweet, they can be turned into juices or into jams. They can ornate a fancy dinner plate or they can be baked into scrumptious goodies. Some of the most popular apple varieties around the world are: Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Fuji.
This precise versatility is what makes apples the most accessible fruits in the world. They’re easy to find, quite the opposite of pricey and they can fit very well with your day-to-day lifestyle, regardless of what it may be.
Another fact about apples is that a part of their composition is air, which basically answers the question: why do apples float in water? But before we go a bit more in depth regarding this subject, let’s see how eating apples positively impacts the human body.
Apple Health Benefits
You must’ve already heard that ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and it’s with good reason this saying exists. It’s because apples really are some of nature’s super fruits. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and they are meant to boost your immune system. Let’s take a closer look at an apple’s nutritional value, so we can later establish just what these health benefits are. Per 100 g of apple you’ll find the following nutrients and compounds:
Calories – 95
Fat – 0.3g
Sodium – 1.8mg
Carbohydrates – 25g
Fiber – 4.4g
Sugars – 18.9g
Protein – 0.5g
Vitamins B1, B2, B6
Now each of these minerals and vitamins have their own part to play when it comes to boosting your health. By regularly eating apples, you can prop up your immune system and prevent certain illnesses.
- Apples are very good natural prebiotics due to the pectin they contain. This is a kind of compound that feeds good bacteria in your gut, thus bringing balance in this environment.
- It’s the same compound that’s claimed to play an important part in preventing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
- Apples are also rich sources of antioxidants. This means that your body will be better protected against the harmful effects of external factors such as drinking alcohol, smoking and pollution. This is because antioxidants successfully fight off the free radicals that tend to attack us from these sources, accelerating the body’s natural cellular aging process.
- Antioxidants also come with another much needed effect in the human body: anti-inflammatory
- The polyphenols in the apples you eat also play an important part in preventing heart disease.
If you want to get the best of your apples, it’s best if you eat them raw, as they are, preferably with their peel still on. It’s perfectly healthy and beneficial for both your physical and mental health, granted you ensure your apples are eco, not sprayed with harmful substances that tend to get absorbed by the outer layer.
Why and How Do Apples Float?
When autumn comes around and people pull out all their best Halloween tricks and features, did you ever notice how nicely apples float in water waiting to be fished out by people? Have you ever asked yourself: why do apples float?
Apples float on water, regardless of the container you place them in. It’s not magic, although it looks pretty wonderful, but actual science. Any object that’s less dense than water will float on it.
This is the case with apples as well – apples float because 25% of their volume is made of air. So no matter how hard you may try to sink them, they will rise above and start floating on the water. A fun trick to try not only on Halloween and not only with children.
The pockets of air that are caught between an apple’s cells are the same reason behind the effect of gassiness apples have on the human body. A less known fact is that apples cause belching – when eating apples, all that air gets caught up in our digestive system and gets freed up through burping.
3 Buckets Ideal for Bobbing for Apples:
- American Metalcraft MTUB10 Natural Galvanized Steel Tub
- Achla Designs C-50 Galvanized Steel Round tub
- Hosley Galvanized Beverage Tub with Handles
Picking the Right Apples
As long as you know the specifics of the apple variety you’re aiming for, you’ll also know what color they’ll be when ripe. Some apples remain green all throughout their development stages, others will stay yellow, while others will gradually turn to red. If it has any bruises, the apple may already be too ripe or has been dropped too many times for it to still maintain its freshness long enough. The fuller the color of the apple, the richer the aroma. However you can also pick less intense-colored apples, since they can be useful too with different purposes around the kitchen, as you’ll soon read below.
Be sure to also check the firmness of the apple – you will want to take it in your hand and feel a rather firm consistency. If you feel any softer parts, it’s best to avoid getting that specific apple or to intend to use it as soon as you get home.
Another sense you can use to detect the perfect apples is your sense of smell. That’s right, pick the apples that are both visually attractive to you and firm to the touch, and give them the extra sniffing test. A ripe, healthy apple should embrace you with its pleasant and rich aroma.
How Do You Best Store Your Apples?
Apples won’t be any good to you, regardless of how delicious and nutritious they typically are, if you don’t store them properly and you let all their great qualities fade.
- Regardless of the apple variety type, you should know that apples don’t play well with heat, so it’s best that you store them in a cool place.
- If you’re planning on eating them within 2-3 days from the moment you got them, you can simply leave them on the counter – they will last for this long at room temperature. If your apples are more thick-skinned, they can even do well on the countertop for about one week.
- Otherwise, you should put them in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator, where they can last for up to an entire month. The only tip to follow with apples is that you don’t stack them on top of each other, since due to their ethylene content, they can all go bad quickly from that one single apple that initially went bad.
- Apart from this, you can also freeze your apples by cutting them in halves or smaller slices and placing them inside ziplock bags in your freezer. They will last for months and you can easily enjoy them at a later date.
- On the other hand, you can also dry up your apples and turn them into delicious and nutritious snacks that you can eat at a much later date. Just make sure that your drying process is foolproof and that the dried apples didn’t retain any unwanted moisture. Once you’ve dried up your apples, make sure to store them in air-tight jars or containers, away from excessive moisture or warmth – this way they’ll maintain their texture and composure as great preserved snacks.
As long as you find the storing method that best suits your needs, your apples will be kept fresh and ready to be consumed by you anytime, anywhere.
How Do You Use Apples?
The popularity of apples comes precisely from their ability to fit in basically any kitchen scenario. They are versatile and they can be consumed in lots of different ways, starting with raw and being juiced through being baked into exquisite homemade desserts. Let’s look at how you can best use the apples you have in your pantry:
- Enjoy them raw – This is perhaps the most popular way that people choose to enjoy apples. They’re light, delicious and healthy and can be packed into basically anything. You can nibble on them in the comfort of your own home or you can sink your teeth into them while on the go.
- Sprinkle it on your morning muesli – Shred an apple and add it to your morning breakfast. Mix it up with Greek yogurt and any other fruits you may like and you’ll create a great energy source to last you for hours throughout your day.
- Squeeze them into a juice – Apple juice is one of the healthiest juices that exist. It’s easy to juice your apples at home – you’ll quickly have the kind of drink that’s pleasant to taste and that’s invigorating to your body and mind. What’s more, apple juice also seems to have a positive impact on your brain health, improving its cognitive functions.
- Include them in salads and soups – If you like going the non-traditional route, know that apples pair very well with salads. Create the salad you usually go for and then add a shredded apple or slices of it – the taste will be immediately improved. Having said this , some of the top restaurants in the world will serve dishes that are adorned with apple bits, so if you’d like to simulate a fancy dinner, apples are the way to go.
- Grill them – When you grill your apples, you open up an entirely new sensorial door for your taste buds. You can add the grilled apples to whatever dish you’ve prepared, noticing how
- Bake them into mouth-watering desserts – This is where apples truly shine, since they make excellent ingredients in apple desserts of all kinds, starting from jams and cakes and all the way to porridge and custards. These desserts are extremely healthy and a much better choice than the processed sweets you can buy from the corner shop.
You needn’t worry about trying new recipes, there’s always room to experiment more in the kitchen. And once you find the apple combination that suits your taste buds, you won’t get enough of it and you’ll most likely introduce it into what can gradually become a healthier diet.
As you can see, apples are the kind of antioxidant fruits we can all do well with. They’re light, nutritious and can have both an immediate and long-term positive impact on our health. You can find them just about anywhere around the world and at decent prices, most likely. Apart from this, do apples float? In short, yes, and they’re so much fun, since they will do this regardless of the container you’ve placed them in.